Sunday, 23 February 2014

Mantralaya Makeover Project & the infamous Campa Cola Compound share the same Architect

In a shocking revelation it has come to light that the Architect of the now infamous Campa Cola project in Worli, which attained notoriety due to its illegal planning and construction of excess floor's is also the Architect of the important Mantralaya makeover project which got necessitated due to fire. This shocking revelation came to light after RTI Activist Anil Galgali filed an RTI with the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. After coming to light that Architect Raja Aederi is involved with the makeover project, Galgali has cautioned the administration by requesting Prithviraj Chavan to be careful and cautious.

Anil Galigali had filed an RTI with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) on 18/11/2013 seeking information about the illegal construction carried out in the Campa Cola compound and also details of action taken by the MCGM regarding the various violations. Instead of giving a written reply regarding action taken on the developer & the Architect in this case, the Building Proposal dept of the MCGM invited Galgali to personally inspect the file. While going through the file, the first thing that came to notice was that it was Architect Raja Aederi, who had submitted the permission proposal to the Executive Engineer, Building Proposals Dept. The Ward Officer (Estates) in a letter dt 21/09/1982 had replied and informed Architect Raja Aederi referring his letter dt 03/09/1982, that his plot size plan is not in concurrence to the plot area shown, which is wrong and also the plot is not subdivided.

17719.58 sq mtrs of land in the Worli TPS Scheme no - 58, Plot no 9, was allotted to M/s Pure Drinks Pvt Ltd on lease by the MCGM. Originally the land was fell under the Industrial zone. Acting on the application by M/s Pure Drinks Pvt Ltd, the Maharashtra Govt approved the land use as Residential for 13049.45 sq mtrs under the MRTP Act, Section 37(2) vide its order no - TPB/4380/2892/NaVi - 5 dt 31/12/1980. Initially the MCGM gave the permissions to start construction on the plot on the application proposals submitted by Architect Raja Aederi. It had also restricted extra constructions on the plot simultaneously. In spite of the directions the developers and the Architect continued the construction activity in violation of the permissible area allowed as per approved plans. Further the MCGM issued Stop Work notice under section 354 A dt 12/11/1984, which was also not heeded by the developers and the Architect. The work continued in spite of such notices. Initially Raja Aederi and thereafter B K Gupta, Jayant Tipnis & Hemant were appointed as Architects in the project. The developers paid Rs 6,56,800/- as penalty against the order dt 22/11/1986 of the Addl Municipal Commisssioner on 14/01/1987. But the illegality could not be regularized and the fresh plans could not be approved as the Penalty was not calculated on the basis of land rate. In violation of the approved plans, the developers and the architect constructed extra floors on its buildings. MCGM took actions under MCGM Act 353 against the Yusuf Patel, B K Gupta & Madanjit Singh. It also initiated actions under section 353 A on the illegal occupants (Residents) of the buildings. With regard to the information of action taken on the responsible Municipal Officers the reply given to Anil Galgali stated that the said records are not available.

It has also been revealed that the then Minister of State (UD), Mr Ravindra Mane, Mayor Chandrakant Handore & Nandu Satam had tried to pressurize the MCGM to sanction Water connection to the buildings in Campa Cola Compound. Also Ex Mayor R R Singh, A Pinto, Ramesh Prabhoo, Baban Kanavaje had repeatedly complained against the illegal construction and demanded actions.

In letters addressed to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (PWD), & Municipal Commissioner, Anil Galgali, Chairman Athak Seva Sangh has cautioned the administration to pay extra attention to the Mantralaya Makeover project as the Architect of both the projects are same. If due precautions are not taken and caution overlooked and in the process if any irregularities occur, a repeat of Campa Cola cannot be ruled out, which could be embarrassing for the govt. It seems the govt has conferred an award to the architect by appointing him on such a prestigious project. Anil Galgali further demanded from the govt that, Instead of ensuring that such Architect does not practice in Maharashtra, Why is  the Govt encouraging such people? Ask question by Galgali.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Arvind Kejriwal oath taking ceremoney cost govt over Rs 6 lakhs

Delhi government spent Rs 6,33,802 for the Arvind Kejriwal government's oath-taking ceremony at the Ramleela Maidan, according to information obtained by Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali.

As per the reply by JP Sharma, Deputy Secretary of General Administrative Department, Delhi, the state government spent Rs 6,33,802 on Kejriwal cabinet's swearing-in, held on December 28, 2013.

The reply also said that information about expenses incurred by Public Works Dept, North Delhi City Corporation, Delhi Water Board, Delhi Fire Brigade Services, Police, Power Dept and Information & Broadcasting department for the function should be obtained from respective departments. 

Sharma also stated, according to Galgali, that Rs 13,04,366 had been spent on oath-taking ceremony of Sheila Dikshit cabinet in 2008 (tent expenses Rs 5,53,715 and food expenses Rs 7,50,651).

The Delhi government, however, refused to reveal the number of guests on both occasions, as also the number of VIPs and VVIPs, and the number of security personnel. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Mono Rail opening delay due to change of Alignment

MMRDA started projects like Metro & Mono Rail for betterment of Mumbai Traffic. Mono Rail delays since last three years due to change of alignment of its root.   Due to that the cost of the project is increased and without asking it from Chief Minister & Urban Development Dept.Govt. of Maharashtra, It reveals in a query asked by Anil Galgali.
RTI Activist Anil Galgali asked information from MMRDA about the change of alignment of Mono Rail.  Respond in the query by Dy. Traffic Planner of Mono Rail informed that Gora Kumbhar Chowk to Mane Master Chowk of G.D. Ambekar Marg alignment changed and alternative alignment done by them as Acharya Donde Marg to Dr. E. Borges Marg.   The proposed re-alignment will be 1.1 K.M. length as against existing alignment of 0.717 K.M.  The overall increased in the alignment will be 383 Meter. Anil Galgali asked that how much cost increased due to that alignment, Mono Rail authority replied that no data available with them.  And also asked for Chief Minister’s order copy for the said change of alignment against that Mono Rail authorities replied that Metropolitan Commissioner sanctioned the said change of alignment under its power given by MMRDA authorities.  Metropolitan commissioner visited the site on 24.09.2009 and instructed to change the said alignment.  Senior Officer Mr. P.L. Kadu made the proposal which was sanctioned by Metropolitan Commissioner on dated 21.10.2009. 
Due to Metropolitan Commissioner’s decision 383 Meter increased in the works of Mono Rail due to change of alignment and its increased the cost of works and also affected the routine works of Mono Rail.  Anil Galgali wrote a letter to Chief Minister of Maharashtra that who is getting benefit and whom beneficiary for the said change the alignment of Mono Rail and also demands to enquire the role of the MMRDA Officers. Due to negligence of MMRDA Officers the Mono Rail project is so delayed and also increased the cost of project and traffic problems, said Galgali.

Mumbaikar's may have to wait for more two months for Mumbai Metro completion.

Mumbai's most talked about project to boost public transport and increase the east west connectivity, launched by the MMRDA from Versova - Andheri - Ghatkopar Mumbai Metro project may take a few months more to complete as it has reached completion by 94.66%, which means it has still 5% work more to be completed. 
This was revealed to RTI Activist Anil Galgali by the MMRDA.

The MMRDA's Metro rail project is 11.4 kms long and has 12 stations. Mr Galgali who has been vigorously pursuing this project for the past 4 years had inquired with the MMRDA regarding the status of completion of the project. In a reply to the query, the Public Information Officer for the Mumbai Metro project gave a detailed reply about the progress of work on all stations as well as the information of various deadlines set by the MMRDA for the project. As per the reply it can be understood that 94.66% work has been completed overall, None of the stations are 100% complete and the Ghatkopar station is 90% complete till the end of December 2013.

The foundation stone was laid by Hon'ble PM Dr Manmohan Singh on 21st June 2006. The Work Order for the same was issued on 21st January 2008, but the actual work started on 8th February 2008. Up till now MMRDA had fixed the various deadlines as follows, July 2010, September 2010, July 2011, March 2012, November 2012, May 2013, September 2013 ( Phase 1 - Versova to Airport road metro station) & December 2013 ( Phase 2 - Airport Road Station to Ghatkopar Metro Station).
The Versova - Andheri - Ghatkopar Metro Rail project was estimated to cost Rs 2356 Crores. In May 2012 the Board of Directors of the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd had pegged the cost to Rs 4321 Crores, but up till now no decision has been taken on the escalated portion of the cost.

Galgali has said that the manner in which the CM & MMRDA are daily commenting on the starting the Metro rail project for the people, it can be understood that it will take up to March 2014 for the Project to be inaugurated. Galgali further stated that, the hurry for the inauguration needs to be avoided and the project should start only after the 100% completion of the project is achieved.